Brown-tinted lenses: mental illness through my eyes

So after talking to a friend about giving feedback to people, it got me thinking about how I used to look at the world around me, compared to how I do now. My whole world seemed dim, dismal and crappy coloured. The opposite of rose-tinted specs! I saw the negative in every single situation, everything I saw and heard. It seemed it was impossible for anyone to do anything positive with me, because I was suspicious of it all. I always found reasons for why somebody was being nice to me: they wanted something in return, they wanted to hurt me but had to first earn my trust, they didn’t mean it etc. I could never believe they were genuine, that the things they did/said that was positive was real. At times I couldn’t even recognise the positives in other people’s behaviour towards me. I think deep down I didn’t think I deserved help and support, i was frightened of being hurt and I was set in my negative ways.

Now, I automatically do the opposite. I started with first being aware of and trying to see the positives in everything: especially the difficult situations. It helped for others to reflect positives to me as well, to point out when I’d done something well. And I started to learn that people grow and develop much quicker when you tell them what they do/did well in situations. I started to compliment other people, it helped to encourage and motivate me to see the positives in other people, and also in myself. It gave me a good feeling too. And instead of pushing away compliments others gave to me, I would force myself to smile and thank them, no matter how uncomfortable it felt. I can now happily accept compliments for what they are, and I hope I compliment others too. One small change, with one massive impact on my life, my confidence and self-esteem, my relationships with other people.

Instead of always saying ‘you did this shit’ or ‘you could have said that better’ start saying ‘you did this well’ and ‘you said this well’.

And smile!

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